From: Brandon S. Chance <bchance**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Chemical Safety headlines from Google (13 articles)
Date: Fri, 6 Feb 2015 18:17:43 +0000
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: D0FA6F13.324DB%bchance**At_Symbol_Here**
In-Reply-To <00a301d04233$e4302470$ac906d50$**At_Symbol_Here**>

I did not have a lot of time to dive into the literature, but olfactory fatigue is reported for ethyl mercaptan at 4ppm.  I would suspect methyl mercaptan would also have a similarly low threshold for olfactory fatigue.

Brandon S. Chance, M.S., CCHO

Program Manager, Chemical Safety

Environmental Health and Safety

Princeton University

262 Alexander Street

Princeton, NJ 08540

609-258-7882 (office)

609-955-1289 (mobile)

609-258-1804 (fax)

"… our job in safety is to make the task happen, SAFELY; not to interfere with the work…" Neal Langerman

From: Ben Ruekberg <bruekberg**At_Symbol_Here**CHM.URI.EDU>
Organization: University of Rhode Island / Dept. of Chemistry
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Date: Friday, February 6, 2015 at 12:39 PM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Chemical Safety headlines from Google (13 articles)

Sufficient concentration of the highly stinky gas, hydrogen sulfide, will
knock out one's sense of smell.  Is it possible that the same applied to its
methyl analog?

Ben Ruekberg

-----Original Message-----
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] On Behalf Of
Edward Movitz
Sent: Friday, February 06, 2015 11:57 AM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Chemical Safety headlines from Google (13 articles)

The initial statement about the amount of Mercaptan let loose and undetected
is also at odds with common sense :

"Chemical manufacturer DuPont has reported that about 23,000 pounds of a
flammable toxic chemical escaped in the building where four of its workers
died two weeks ago at a Houston-area plant.

DuPont disclosed in a news release the quantity of the methyl mercaptan that
led to the deaths Nov. 15."


Edward M. Movitz
Health & Safety Officer / FSO

The University of Mississippi

Department of Health and Safety

100 Health and Safety Building

P.O. Box 1848

University, MS 38677-1848


O:+1-662-915-5433 | F: 662-915-5480

movitz**At_Symbol_Here** | |  Health & Safety Web Site

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From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] on behalf of Debbie
M. Decker [dmdecker**At_Symbol_Here**UCDAVIS.EDU]
Sent: Friday, February 06, 2015 10:35 AM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Chemical Safety headlines from Google (13 articles)

Did anyone else find this tidbit odd?  How could there be methyl mercaptan
vapor build up and no one notice it?  Around here, someone takes the sealed
jar out of the dessicator to take to the fume hood and there's howling up
and down the hall from the smell.

Debbie M. Decker, CCHO, ACS Fellow
Chair, Division of Chemical Health and Safety University of California,

Birkett's hypothesis: "Any chemical reaction that proceeds smoothly under
normal conditions, can proceed violently in the presence of an idiot."


Tags: us_TX, industrial, follow-up, death, other_chemical

HOUSTON -- It was DuPont's third deadly U.S. accident in five years and the
deadliest of them all. On November 15th, a chemical leak in LaPorte took the
lives of four workers, including two brothers.

They were inside a building that manufactured insecticides.

Federal investigators have now claimed there were problems both with the
building and with how things were done there.

"What we are seeing here in this incident in LaPorte is definitely a problem
of safety culture in the corporation of DuPont," said Rafael Moure-Eraso,
Chairman of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board.

After months of investigating, the independent agency found a ventilation
system had been broken that allowed a harmful chemical called methyl
mercaptan to build up without anyone knowing it.


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